Title: Temporal dynamics of hydraulic fracturing and water use: a case study from Northwestern Alberta, Canada
Authors: Gopal Chandra Saha; Michael S. Quinn; Connie Van Der Byl
Addresses: Global Water Futures Program, Wilfred Laurier University, 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3C5, Canada ' Institute for Environmental Sustainability, Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate S.W., Calgary, Alberta, T3E 6K6, Canada ' Institute for Environmental Sustainability, Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate S.W., Calgary, Alberta, T3E 6K6, Canada
Abstract: The practice of hydraulic fracturing, an unconventional oil and gas extraction method, has increased significantly in North America. This study presents the temporal dynamics of hydraulically fractured wells and water use from a two-year (2013 and 2014) case study of 432 wells in Northwestern Alberta, Canada. The number of hydraulically fractured wells was greater in all but two months in 2014 compared to 2013. Water consumption not only depended on the number of wells, but also on the type of rock formation, how deep and how many stages were required to fracture the targeted formation. The average water consumption per well was 3,671 m3. The majority (52%) of total water consumption occurred during low flow periods. We recommend monitoring nearby water sources to develop sustainable water resources management plans for hydraulic fracturing to minimise substantial negative impacts on water sources during low flow periods.
Keywords: hydraulic fracturing; temporal dynamics; water use; Northwestern Alberta; Canada.
International Journal of Hydrology Science and Technology, 2021 Vol.12 No.1, pp.88 - 99
Received: 01 Apr 2019
Accepted: 22 Feb 2020
Published online: 14 Jul 2021 *